Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie- family favorite

My entire life I have been making chocolate chip cookies from the recipe on the back of the nestle  package.   They were amazing and they were what I had to always make for gatherings or family events.  Not only were they demanded but they were devoured within minutes.  When we changed our diet I starting to limit the number of times I would make them.  Lets face it, I would have to have some dough and a cookie when I made them.  I was trying to avoid the gluten but they were good! So I decided to experiment with the recipe below.  To my, as well as my families surprise they looked and tasted pretty darn close to the originals.  I did not tell anyone I had made them different and nobody seemed to have anything.  I had tried other variations before and everyone immediately would ask what I did different. So I finally have something my family will eat with healthier options- if you can say cookies have any healthy portion to them.  We all have to enjoy life every once in a while right!

FYI: I always double this recipe.  I have noticed the few times I made cookies with a regular batch they did taste a little different.


  • 1 1/2 cup rice flour ( I think I use a mixture of this with coconut and almond flour- I didn’t have enough rice flour)
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 1/8 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup coconut butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi sweet chocolate chips or cocoa chips


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.COMBINE flour, baking soda in small bowl. Beat butter,  sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels . Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 7 to 9 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Aloe Vera Juice Uses and Safety

TABLE 3.2Controlled Trials Investigating the Effectiveness of Aloe vera in the Treatment of Various Health Conditions in Humans

Health Condition

Study (Author, Year) Gastrointestinal disorders


Significant Effects of Aloe vera Treatment Compared to Control

Gastrointestinal disorders

Constipation Odes and Madar 1991 Aloe vera + celandine + psyllium or placebo Improved bowel movement frequency/consistency of stools/laxative dependence
  Chapman and Pittelli 1974 Aloin (from Aloe vera latex) or Phenolphthalein compared to placebo Increased laxative effect
Irritable bowel syndrome Davis et al. 2006 Aloe vera gel or placebo No beneficial effect
Ulcerative colitis Langmead et al. 2004 Aloe vera gel or placebo No significant effects on clinical remission; improvements in the simple clinical colitis activity index and histological scores
Diabetes mellitus Bunyapraphatsara et al. 1996 Aloe vera gel or placebo in combination with glibenclamide Reductions in blood glucose and serum triglycerides (no effect on cholesterol)
  Yongchaiyudha et al. 1996 Aloe vera gel or placebo Reductions in blood glucose and serum triglycerides (no effect on cholesterol)
  Nasiff, Fajardo, and Velez 1993 Whole-leaf Aloe vera extract or placebo Reductions in total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins, and triglycerides

Disorders of the skin a

Acne vulgaris Fulton 1990 Polyethylene gel dressing + Aloe vera Reduction in time to re-epithelization
Acute radiation dermatitis Merchant et al. 2007 Aloe vera gel or a polar phospholipid-based cream Less effective in reducing radiation-induced side effects
  Heggie et al. 2002 Aloe vera gel or aqueous cream Less effective in reducing radiation-induced side effects
  Olsen et al. 2001 Aloe vera gel or placebo No effect in reducing radiation-induced side effects
  Williams, Burk, and Loprinzi 1996 Aloe vera gel or placebo No effect in reducing radiation-induced side effects
  Williams, Burk, and Loprinzi 1996 Aloe vera or no treatment No effect in reducing radiation-induced side effects
Burn wounds Maenthaisong et al. 2007 b Various treatments (including Aloe veramucilage/cream; gauze + Aloe vera gel/powder) Beneficial effect at a range of different doses in the treatment of burn wounds
Psoriasis Heck et al. 1981 Gauze with Aloe vera or Silvadene cream No significant reduction in healing time
  Syed et al. 1996 Aloe vera gel or placebo Higher treatment success rate
  Paulsen, Korsholm, and Brandrup 2005 Aloe vera gel or placebo Lower score of erythema + infiltration + desquamation
Radiation-related mucositis Su et al. 2004 Aloe vera solution or conventional (baking soda mouth rinse, Benadryl + nystatin mouthwash) No effect in reducing mucositis
Surgical wounds Schmidt and Greenspoon 1991 Aloe vera gel or gauze dressing Longer healing time than conventional treatment
Metastatic cancer Lissoni et al. 1998 Aloe vera tincture (10% Aloe vera/90% alcohol) + melatonin or melatonin alone Increased number of patients with stabilized disease and survival for 1 year

a Aloe vera treatments are applied topically for these conditions. Laxative

Aloe vera latex is commonly used in the treatment of constipation (de Witte 1993); the laxative effect of the anthraquinone glycosides found in Aloe vera latex is well established (Ulbricht et al. 2008). In a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of 28 healthy adults, aloin was reported to have a laxative effect compared to a placebo that was stronger than the stimulant laxative phenolphthalein (Chapman and Pittelli 1974). In subjects with chronic constipation, a novel preparation containing Aloe vera, celandine, and psyllium was found to improve a range of constipation indicators (bowel movement frequency, consistency of stools, and laxative dependence) in a 28-day double-blind trial; however, the effect of Aloe vera alone was not investigated in this study (Odes and Madar 1991). Aloe vera laxative preparations have been approved by the German Commission E governmental regulatory agency for use in the treatment of constipation as a second-line agent; however, Aloe latex is no longer recognized as an over-the-counter drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration due to a lack of sufficient data to establish its safety for use as a laxative.


Determining the safety and efficacy of Aloe vera is difficult due to the lack of standardization of commercially available Aloe verapreparations. Similarly, the need for a more detailed understanding of the plant’s active components makes it difficult to evaluate the optimal doses of particular Aloe vera preparations for the treatment of specific disorders.

Despite these challenges, a recent systematic review of Aloe vera by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration concluded that topical application of Aloe vera gel or extract is safe for the treatment of mild to moderate skin conditions, burns, wounds, and inflammation (Ulbricht et al. 2008). In terms of efficacy, reasonable evidence in humans supports the topical use of Aloe vera for the treatment of burn wounds. Evidence for its use in psoriasis, dermatitis, and surgical wound healing is conflicting.

The Natural Standard Research Collaboration further concluded that the oral use of Aloe vera gel for its potential hypoglycemic effects and the short-term use of oral Aloe latex as a laxative are possibly safe; however, prolonged use of the latex is likely to be unsafe due to a theoretical risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance (Ulbricht et al. 2008). The cathartic properties of anthraquinone glycosides found in Aloe vera latex are well established. However, given the potential safety concerns with its use, there is a need for further clinical trials to investigate the benefits of latex administration over conventional laxative treatments. Although inconclusive, there is some preliminary evidence of a favorable effect of Aloe vera gel taken orally in type 2 DM, ulcerative colitis and the stabilization of metastatic cancer.

Toxic Gut

I wanted to stick with the theme of constipation since the last post by Jennifer Brown

To be completely honest constipation was an issue for me and it is actually the reason I started to research and change our diets. I was 25 years old, active plus regular exercise, drank 3-4 liters a day, eating plenty of fiber but still I was constipated. I did not understand why and i knew if it as an issue for me now just wait until I aged and my metabolism and gut slowed down.  I was looking at a world of trouble for the future. So I started researching, a friend introduced me to juice plus and my whole life changed.  The most effective change we made was eliminating gluten from our diets and adding in fruits, vegetable and juice plus.

I was attending a Juice Plus Lecture given by a Ob Gyn Physician who was a proud supporter of juice plus.  She actually said that we should have a bowel movement after every meal.  After thinking abou tit it all started to make sense.  Our gut is what removes the toxins out of our body so why would we want them to be sitting there just to reak havoc on our organs and cells?  The faster we are able to get rid of our poop the less time our body is exposed to these toxins. Physicans now consider it to be normal for bowel movements to be spaced out as long as the stool is not hard or that it is not painful.  I tend to lean the other direction.

I can’t say I am to that point but I am working towards a goal of keeping my toxin exposure to a minimum.

Another useful index in bowel transit time, or the time it takes for food to pass through the body. In diets composed of unrefined cereals, fruits, and plenty of raw vegetables, the transit time is usually 12 hours or so. On a refined diet this could extend to 24, 48, or 72 hours or longer. Another tidbit that many people are clueless about is that it takes about five to seven days for flesh to pass out of the body. Since the nature of a dead body is to rot, where do you think all those rotting poisons are proliferating in those five to seven days? Cancer, arthritis, and heart disease, anyone

So what else can we do to prevent or re-leave constipation?

Natural home remedies for constipation


  • Start off the day with a high-fibre bran cereal. Some brands contain as much as 14 grams of insoluble fibre, the kind that adds bulk to stool.
  • Fill up on dried beans, prunes, figs, pears and oatmeal (gluten free). These foods are also all high in soluble fibre.
  • Mix one to two teaspoons of psyllium seeds into a cup of hot water. Let it sit for two hours, add lemon and honey, then drink.
  • Flaxseeds are high in fibre and also contain heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Take one tablespoon of the ground seeds two or three times a day. You can also add it your morning cereal or smoothie.
  • As you increase your intake of fibre be sure to drink lots of water—at least 8 glasses a day.
  • Recommended fiber intake 20 grams a day childhood, 29 grams/day adolescent and adult women, 38 grams/day adolescent and men. (  – high fiber diet guidelines)

Loosen up with a hot cup

  • A morning cup of hot java will help. Caffeine has a bowel-loosening effect. Just don’t drink too much since it’s also a diuretic.
  • Herbal or decaffeinated tea, or a simple cup of hot water with lemon juice will also help to get things moving.
  • Dandelion tea has a mildly laxative effect. Steep one teaspoon of the dried root in one cup of boiling water. Drink one cup three times per day.

Wrinkled fruit to the rescue

  • Prunes are one of the oldest home remedies for constipation. High in fibre, prunes also contain a compound called dihydroxyphenyl isatin, which kicks the colon into action.
  • Raisins are also high in fibre as well as tartaric acid, which has a laxative effect.

Get up and go

  • There’s a reason the evening walk used to be called the daily constitutional. Regular exercise helps your body move food quicker. Aim for a daily walk at the very least.

Relax and don’t wait

  • Never force a bowel movement. You can give yourself hemorrhoids or anal fissures that eventually narrow the anal opening, causing constipation.
  • Never ignore nature’s call. If you do, you’re asking for a case of constipation.

incorporating a fermented food with each meal- see the attached link.

Eat at least five servings of each fruits and vegetables. Select a variety, including sweet potatoes, apples, berries, apricots, peaches, pears, oranges, prunes, corn, peas, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower. And opt for the whole produce over juice as much as possible; a glass of orange juice, for instance, provides 0.1 grams of fiber, while eating an orange gives you 2.9 grams.

Apples. Eat an hour after a meal to prevent constipation.

Apple juice and apple cider. These are natural laxatives for many people. Drink up and enjoy! Caution with the sugar.

Bananas. These may relieve constipation. Try eating two ripe bananas between meals. Avoid green bananas, because they’ll actually make your problem worse.

Raisins. Eat a handful daily, an hour after a meal.

Rhubarb. This is a natural laxative. Cook it and eat it sweetened with honey, or bake it in a pie. Or, create a drink with cooked, pureed rhubarb, apple juice and honey.

Snack on Sesame Seeds

These seeds provide roughage and bulk, and they soften the contents of the intestines, which makes elimination easier. Eat no more than 1/2 ounce daily, and drink lots of water as you take the seeds. You may also sprinkle them on salads and other foods, but again, no more than 1/2 ounce. Sesame is also available in a butter or paste and in Middle Eastern dips, such as tahini.

A little water with unfiltered, non-pasteurized apple cider vinegar just before each meal is often recommended to boost stomach acids that begin the first major step of digestion, especially for older folks

The glass of warm lemon or lime water without any sweetener upon rising has been embraced by many of all ages to stimulate the liver and gall bladder’s bile production, which is a fluid that combines with food enzymes and enzymes from the pancreas.

Finally: aloe vera juice.  There is not allot of research on this so you can check it out and make the decision for yourself.

By adding several of these recommendations to your diet daily you will hopefully be on the road to smooth sailing.

Why choose the Juice Plus Vineyard Blend

Dr. Humbart Santillo, MH Doctor or Naturopathy and Master Herbalist,  “Balancing our Terrain”

Dr. Santillo has published several books on health and healing including “Prometabolics, Your Guide to Health and Healing”  and “Your Body Speaks, Your Body Heals”  Dr. Santillo is the creator of Juice Plus+ Orchard, Garden and Vineyard.


Heart Disease Kills 2 People every minute….Heart Health Risk factors:

  • Diet (too little fruits, vegetables, whole grains)
  • Lack of exercise and poor circulation
  • Lack of antioxidants
  • Lipid Peroxidation  (Oxidative Stress) and Free Radical damage
  • Inflammation caused by  wrong food choices, too much stress and environmental factors

Synergy – How Everything Works Together


The Vineyard Blend affects every part of the body for health and is a carrier for other supplements to tissue sites.

Synergy v/s mass – small amounts of phytonutrients delivering massive amounts of vitamin C.

No person can put synergy into food.

Primary research is research on the whole formula – not just individual ingredients.


University of Maryland School of Medicine study on the effect of the three Juice Plus+ blends taken together on the constriction of blood vessels that occurs after a high-fat meal.  Subjects who consumed Juice Plus+ were better able to maintain the elasticity of arteries, even after a high-fat meal.  Researchers at both the University of North Caroline-Greensboro and the Medical University of Graz, Austria found that the three Juice Plus+ blends were also effective in reducing a marker for oxidative stress associated with aerobic exercise.


Benefits of the Vineyard blend ingredients:


  • Blackberries – expands arteries and capillaries, high in vitamin C
  • Bilberries – anti-inflammatory, improves night vision, improves blood flow to tiny arteries in the eyes
  • Cranberries – provides tannins-astringents to the kidneys, adheres to kidney walls, prevents E. coli, etc.
  • Elderberries – dilates capillaries and arteries in lungs and joints
  • Black Currant – 3x more vitamin C than oranges, supports the nervous system
  • Black and Red Currants– crosses blood/brain barriers, helps motor system, memory, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia
  • Green Tea – stops blood platelets from sticking together, reduces blood clotting
  • Blueberries – have 25,000 different phytonutrients, prevents oxidative stress from age and exercise, benefits eyes/vision
  • Raspberries – protects DNA from carcinogens like an aspirin
  • Concord Grapes – compared to vitamin E, 20% less protein damage in the body, positive benefits to hormones, diminishes damage to body
  • Grape seeds – 50% stronger than vitamin E in oxidative stress, protects DNA, crosses blood/brain barriers, strengthens and supports connective tissue, has antioxidants for athletes
  • Artichoke – helps balance blood sugar, liquefies fat in gall bladder/liver
  • L- arginine – has to be present in body, releases on end of nerve endings, improves circulation and sex drive
  • L-carnitine – transports fats into the engine of the cell so your body can burn fat for energy
  • Coenzyme Q10– strong antioxidant, burns fat – 75% of people who die from heart disease are deficient in coenzyme Q10

Cassie Gifford 785-640-7962

Your Happy, Healthy Gut: the first line of defense against chronic disease

Presented by Guess Blogger: Jennifer Browne

Let’s face it: nobody likes to discuss their gut. Why would they? The word “gut” evokes images of churned-up food and what it eventually turns into. Yuck, right? But the importance of gut health is often overlooked—especially in western culture. We’re too cool to care, and because of that, a giant percentage of us are paying the price. In fact, the number of people in the United States who suffer from chronic constipation is approximately 15%.[1]

Ouch. (Literally.)

So, what’s gut got to do with it? Believe it or not, the health of your bowel is absolutely critical in determining how healthy your whole body is. Basically, if you’re tummy’s happy, your entire body follows suit. This is because of three major factors:

Your gut is host to trillions of bacteria that will either help or hinder your immune system response. Your bowel is immune-system central. Those with an unhealthy gut will get sick more often than those with a clean and healthy one. I’m not just talking about common colds or flus—I’m referring to chronic illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, some cancers, diabetes, and even seemingly un-related diseases, such as arthritis and MS.

“Researchers at the University of Toronto have found an explanation for how the intestinal tract influences a key component of the immune system to prevent infection, offering a potential clue to the cause of autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.”[2]

Our bowel contains good (friendly) bacteria and bad bacteria. The purpose of the good bacteria is to fight anything that arrives in the gut that might make us sick. They also lower the pH around the wall of the gut, in an attempt to make that area inhabitable to bad bacteria and anything that may be harmful to us.[3] They work directly with immune cells, and actually communicate with each other in order to decide if an immune system response (inflammation) is warranted or not.

When bad bacteria, or a virus, or anything else that may be cause for concern is found, the good bacteria are deployed to fight and destroy that bad guys. If they are not winning the fight, then immune system cells are called to action and create inflammation, which is designed to pinpoint the area of invasion and help solve the problem.

When we have a chronic issue, such as long-term constipation, we become chronically inflamed, because our immune system thinks that we are constantly fighting. This becomes a major problem, primarily because it exhausts our immune system, helps bad bacteria become used to this response, and therefore makes us more prone to more chronic illness.[4]

It’s a vicious cycle. You can help your gut increase the number of good bacteria by taking regular prebiotic and probiotic supplements.

By keeping your bowel clean and healthy through regular elimination and absorption of simple and pure nutrients, you give your immune system the best chance at operating properly.

Contrary to popular belief, the “happy hormone” serotonin is produced not only your brain, but also in your bowel. Actually, it is estimated that approximately 95% of the serotonin in your body is produced in your gut[5]:

“Gut bacteria manufacture about 95 percent of the body’s supply of serotonin, which influences both mood and GI activity.”[6]

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is most commonly known to affect mood. Levels have been found to be very low in those diagnosed with depression or seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D).[7] Often, anti-depressants such as Prozac and Zoloft are prescribed to supplement those who are in need of more serotonin.[8] [9]

However, cleaning up your gut and increasing the regularity of one’s bowel movements have been shown to increase serotonin levels and decrease the need for antidepressants.

“Some research suggests that IBS patients who suffer mainly from diarrhea may have increased serotonin levels in the gut, while those with constipation-predominant IBS have decreased amounts.”[10]

I’m not suggesting that diarrhea is awesome; just highlighting the point that regular elimination contributes to heightened levels of serotonin.

Nobody wants to suffer from diarrheal circumstances, but by not accumulating stool in the colon, you can increase your number of happy days.

Who doesn’t want more of those?!

Toxins that we take into our body every day, whether it is through our food, air, or chemicals that get absorbed through our skin, convene in our gut to party. The act of elimination expels those toxins so that our body doesn’t absorb them. If you’re not having a bowel movement at least once a day, you are hosting toxins that will make their way into your bloodstream and affect other parts of your body. This is commonly referred to as “toxic overload,” and it also occurs in other organs too, such as your liver and kidneys.

We eliminate these toxins by expelling them through our skin (sweating), urinating, and defecating. This is why exercise is great (it makes you sweat), you’re advised to drink a lot of water (in order to increase urination), and it’s crucial that you are regular in the bowel department.

You can accumulate up to 5-10 pounds of fecal matter in your intestines if you’re not having regular bowel movements.[11] If for no other reason, that’s a great incentive to begin paying attention to the frequency of your bowel movements.

So, what are some healthy ways to relieve constipation? (Please don’t reach for the Ex-Lax!)

1-      Drink plenty of water and herbal tea. This helps to flush out your bowel and loosen hard stool.

2-      Consume a ton of vegetables and whole grains. Whole grains (like brown, sprouted rice, quinoa and oats) help to sweep your colon clean. They are essential.

3-      Exercise. By just walking regularly, you stimulate the bowel, and massage other organs, too.

4-      De-stress. Stress is very hard on your body. It messes with our sleep, or tummies, and our moods. Try and take the time to relax often. Conscious breathing helps with this. Close your eyes, and slowly inhale for a count of ten, then pause, and slowly exhale for another ten. Repeat ten times. For more information on this particular practice, visit this link on conscious breathing.

5-      Try a whole food, plant-based diet. This diet has been proven time and time again to be the most effective at keeping a clean digestive tract. Why? Because the foods eaten on this diet are very easy for your body to process, and the nutrients provided are easily absorbed. Foods like fruits, veggies, beans, seeds, nuts, and whole grains are amazing for your body. Meat and dairy are not digested well, and often are the root cause of a malfunctioning digestive system.

Bottom line? Don’t take bowel health for granted—it can be your biggest ally against all types of health ailments. Make sure you’re regular, and you will greatly increase your chances of bypassing unnecessary affliction.


Contributed by Jennifer Browne, who is an advocate for digestive health and wellness. Her first book on digestive health, Happy Healthy Gut, is being released on January 2, 2014. It’s available for pre-order on Visit her Facebook page, tweet her @jennifer_browne, or find her on her website at